Edwards Leads U-M Trio Among First 33 NFL Draftees

NEW YORK, N.Y. -- All three University of Michigan football players who returned for their senior season to help lead the Wolverines to back-to-back Big Ten Conference titles were selected among the top 33 picks in the 2005 National Football League Draft today (Saturday, April 23) at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center.


Edwards is U-M's highest NFL draft pick since 1966.

The draft began with a tinge of Maize and Blue as wide receiver Braylon Edwards (Detroit, Mich./Bishop Gallagher HS) was drafted by the Cleveland Browns as the third overall selection. Senior cornerback Marlin Jackson (Sharon, Pa./Sharon HS) joined Edwards in the first round, going 29th overall to the Indianapolis Colts. Fifth-year senior center David Baas (Sarasota, Fla./Riverview HS) followed four picks later, the 33rd overall choice, as the San Francisco 49ers made him the first selection of the second round.

Edwards became the 40th Wolverine chosen in the first round of the NFL Draft and is the highest-drafted wide receiver in school history.

"He is one big, physical receiver and has a competitive attitude," said Cleveland Browns head coach Romeo Crennel on ESPN following the selection of Edwards. "He goes and gets the ball downfield and when the game is on the line he produces. We feel real good about having Braylon Edwards on our team."

Edwards, a consensus All-American and Biletnikoff Award winner in 2004, was the highest rated player in the draft according to Scouts Inc. and was rated No. 3 overall by Mel Kiper Jr. Edwards is the highest draft pick during U-M head coach Lloyd Carr's tenure and is the seventh first-round draft choice during that stretch (1995-present).

Jackson joins 1997 Heisman Trophy winner Charles Woodson as the only defensive back selected in the first round during Lloyd Carr's tenure, and he is the fifth U-M defensive back chosen in the NFL's first round. A two-time All-American, Jackson was the fifth cornerback chosen in the first round.

The 2004 Rimington Trophy co-recipient and a consensus All-American, Baas will be counted on to protect quarterback Alex Smith, the 2005 draft first overall pick. Baas becomes the only Wolverine on the 49ers roster and is the first U-M player drafted by the organization since wide receiver Tai Streets was a sixth-round pick in 1999.

The Edwards family equaled the Dufek trio as the only Michigan father-son(s) combinations selected in the NFL Draft. Braylon and his father, Stan, a 1982 third-round draft choice of the Houston Oilers, would become the first family unit to play in the league when Braylon makes his NFL debut.

With the first three rounds completed Saturday, the draft will conclude Sunday (April 24) with the final four rounds, beginning at 11 a.m. on ESPN.

Following are the Wolverines selected during the first day of the 2005 NFL Draft:

Player, Pos. NFL Team Overall Pick
Braylon Edwards, WR    Cleveland Browns 3rd (1st round, 3rd pick)
Marlin Jackson, CB Indianapolis Colts 29th (1st round, 29th pick)
David Baas, C San Francisco 49ers      33rd (2nd round, 1st pick)

NFL Draft Notes

This is the seventh time in school history that Michigan has had multiple first-round NFL draft picks.

The Wolverines had three players chosen in the first round of the NFL Draft on two occasions, 1995 (Tyrone Wheatley, Ty Law, Trezelle Jenkins) and 2001 (David Terrell, Steve Hutchinson, Jeff Backus).

Michigan tied Texas, Georgia, Florida State, Oklahoma and Southern California with two first-round picks apiece. All six college programs trailed Auburn's four first-round selections.

Edwards is the Wolverines' highest selection since NFL Hall of Fame offensive lineman Tom Mack went second overall to the Los Angeles Rams in the 1966 draft.

The Wolverines have had two players selected No. 1 in professional football league drafts. Tom Harmon, the 1940 Heisman Trophy winner, was the first overall pick of the Chicago Bears in the 1941 NFL Draft, and end Elmer Madar was the first selection of the Miami Seahawks in the 1947 All-American Football Conference draft.

Edwards is the 10th U-M player taken in the first five picks of the draft (AAFC, AFL and NFL drafts).

Edwards is the fifth U-M wide receiver selected in the first round, joining Elroy Hirsch (fifth in 1945, Cleveland Rams), Desmond Howard (fourth in 1992, Washington Redskins), Derrick Alexander (29th in 1994, Cleveland Browns) and David Terrell (8th in 2001, Chicago Bears).

Edwards joins former Wolverine tight end/fullback Aaron Shea with the Browns organization.

Edwards is the eighth receiver selected in the top three since 1978.

Edwards is the first receiver taken in the first round by the Browns since Michigan's Derrick Alexander in 1994.

Edwards is the first Michigan player drafted by the Browns since tight end Aaron Shea in 2000 (fourth round).

The Browns have drafted four other players from Michigan in the first round: running back Ron Johnson (1969), defensive back Thom Darden (1972), center Steve Everitt (1993) and Alexander (1994).

Jackson is the fifth Wolverine defensive back chosen in the NFL's first round, joining Woodson (fourth in 1998, Oakland Raiders), Ty Law (23rd in 1995, New England Patriots), Dave Brown (26th in 1975, Pittsburgh Steelers) and Thom Darden (18th in 1972, Cleveland Browns).

Baas is the Wolverines' highest draft choice along the offensive line since 2001 picks Steve Hutchinson (17th, Seattle Seahawks) and Jeff Backus (18th, Detroit Lions) were back-to-back first-round selections.

Jackson joins a pair of former Wolverines with the Colts organization, linebacker Cato June and defensive tackle Josh Williams.

Media Contacts: David Ablauf, Jim Schneider (734) 763-4423

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